Ruby Central has announced the speakers for this years RubyConf, and it looks like a great lineup. I'm especially looking forward to hearing from Zed Shaw and Evan Phoenix — assuming I'm one of the lucky 200 or so to beat the rush and get registered. The only sad part is that I know Chad and David had to turn away a lot of great talks. There just isn't room for all of them in a conference of this size.
This brings me back to my earlier point that we need to have more regional ruby gatherings. I've not been alone in talking about this. In fact, Ruby Central also announced a regional conference grant program (pdf) yesterday.
The program will grant up to $1500 for a regional Ruby themed conference (for use in subsidizing speakers travel, renting space and AV equipment, and the like — there are some rules and restrictions, go read the announcement linked above for the full scoop). There will be several grants made this year, hopefully the program will run well enough to see it continued into the foreseeable future.
So, what does this mean? Well, it provides a lot more outlets for Ruby Speakers to go and spread the news. It also means that local Ruby Brigades (or regional groups of Ruby Brigades) should start thinking about hosting a program. I'd love to see the slc.rb, utahvalley.rb, and BYU RUG work with Rubyists in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming to pull something together in the Spring. There are a bunch of New England area Ruby Brigades, I'll bet that they could pull of a great conference. The Pacific Northwest is home to at least four groups full of prominent and interesting Rubyists, if they put together a regional conference it will be worth travelling to.
Get out there and start coordinating!